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Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 03:50
Hello,

I'm going to Japan from April 25th~May 2nd.
And I didn't realize it was Golden week till now and we've booked all of our hotels already.

My worry is, we were planning on going to Kyoto on April 27th from Tokyo, but will the bullet train (shinkansen) tickets be sold out? Since we've already booked our hotels, we need to be in Kyoto on April 27th.
We were planning on buying the bullet train ticket when we arrive at the Narita airport on April 25th, but it seems like the tickets will be all sold out way before then...
Is there any way I can book the tickets online? Or do you think I can just purchase it on April 25th at the airport?
I'm just nervous the tickets will be all sold out and we won't be able to go to Kyoto on the day we want to when we already booked our hotels....

Thanks
by MinJoo (guest)  

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 07:42
The morning ones are all sold out already, but those departing from 16:00 onwards still have some seats.

You can use the smartex app if you are from a participating country. https://smart-ex.jp/en/
Otherwise you can use a third-party reservation service, or if you know some Japanese you can book on the Japanese booking sites.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 07:51
Is there any way I can book the tickets online? Or do you think I can just purchase it on April 25th at the airport?

If you are from USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia or Thailand, you can buy the ticket online.

https://smart-ex.jp/en/lp/app/

I checked through Cyberstation

http://www.jr.cyberstation.ne.jp

and found that morning Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto is fully booked though there are many vacant seats after 16:00. This is the first day of "Golden Week" so many people want to start early. But this situation may change for next 10 days.

Even if you can't get the reserved seats, there are always "non-reserved seats" but you may have to stand all the way to Kyoto.

Or you can also take flight.

https://aswbe-i.ana.co.jp/rei22b/international_asw/pages/revenue/searc...

Narita 18:10- to Itami 19:35 is now available for 74.33 USD. If you add some 120 USD, you can take more convenient Haneda flight.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 07:57
Even if reserved seats are sold out you can buy non-reserved tickets and get in line early. And board at Tokyo station - not Shinagawa station. Slower Shinkansen (Hikari or Kodama) is another option.
by Tets O. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 10:49
Most are sold out and you can try non reserved which will be also busy.
I have used the application to make reservation 2 weeks in advance.

Golden week is not a great time to visit Japan since it will be soooo busy
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 13:00
Thank you all so much! It helped it a lot!

We just purchased a ticket on April 27th 16:00 from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Just wondering though, when we purchased the ticket, it just says Tokyo->Kyoto. Doesn't tell me specifically where to go or where I will arrive.
So do I board on at the Tokyo station and it till take me to the Kyoto station? I would like to know the exact location of the bullet train station so I know where to go.

And also, we will have 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on suitcase each, will these luggage be allowed on the bullet train?

Thanks
by MinJoo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 13:45
when we purchased the ticket, it just says Tokyo->Kyoto. Doesn't tell me specifically where to go or where I will arrive.

Did you purchase through "Smart EX"? Then I guess your e-ticket has some information, such as train number (Nozomi 237), car number and seat number. Tokyo and Kyoto are the name of specific JR train stations so you should go to Tokyo station, maybe 15 min before departure. There should be JR staff and you can ask him/her how to do with your e-ticket (perhaps in your smartphone). You will arrive at JR Kyoto station. You can take train, subway, bus or taxi there. As for your luggage, you are allowed to bring, and your carry-ons can be put on the overhead rack above your seats, but you may find some difficulty about you suitcase. If it is very large, then you might better use luggage delivery service.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 13:49
Yes, it is Tokyo station to Kyoto station. At Tokyo station, follow the signs for the Tokaido Shinkansen, and then look at the signboards to find your train.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Bullet train sold out during Golden week? 2019/4/16 15:48
Try looking for the rearmost seat once you get on the train where you can put your larger luggage. If those are all taken, then you can still always put that luggage in front of your seat. The leg room is very spacious on the shinkansen, but of course you won't sit very comfortably by doing so.
by JPN48 rate this post as useful

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